The child was one year old, when they first met.
Dancing hazel green eyes had locked onto him the second he'd entered the room, lips curling into a bright smile at the sight of him. The child reached for him, turning in Maryse's arms and straining towards him. He found himself returning the smile with a warm one of his own, one he'd rarely shown to anyone beyond his mother so long ago. Taking the child from his mother's arms to hold him to his own chest, he felt something deep inside his flare and spark to life, the babe's giggle reflecting the event. Warmth flooded his veins, and had anyone been looking, they'd have noticed the flared of hellfire that sparked through his runes.
They noticed nothing.
Instead, Maryse leaned forward smiling slightly. "He likes you, sir. That's the first time I've ever seen him react to someone like that. "
Valentine hummed, glancing down to the child's warm gaze. It was then that he noticed the starbursts dancing through his eyes, the faint shimmer of his skin.
He said nothing, logging the abnormalities for later, instead he sighed softly. "What's his name?"
Robert stepped forward. "Alexander Gideon Lightwood, sir."
Another hum, this one softer as the baby's eyes slowly falling shut as he curled closer to the man holding him. Once he was sure the child was asleep, he handed him back to Maryse, ignoring the way his heart clenched when the babe whimpered in protest.
"He's a beautiful child, Maryse. Robert." Forcing his features back into their stoic mask he turned his gaze back onto Robert.
"I was here for another reason." He began and his subordinate frowned.
He went on to explain his true reason for arriving, but even as their conversation continued, he couldn't forget the warmth that the sleeping babe a few feet away had invoked him. Perhaps the feeling would go away if he ignored it.
The first dream came that night.
A dream of an angel with long ink-blackhair dusted with a faint shimmer and laughing star-encrusted eyes, six large black wings trembling behind him as he laughed. Beside him was another angel,hair just as dark, but flames licked the tail ends of his mane, his eyes the color of blue flame.
He dreamed of them laughing, of them loving, and fighting. He dreamed of them fighting, the star-dusted angel begging his fiery counterpart first for understanding, then for mercy.
He watched as the flame crowned angel broke the star-dusted angel's wings and threw him from the silver city, heart shattering as the other screamed in pure agony.
He woke just as the beautifully broken angel was engulfed in flames, a foreign name on his lips.
Beside him, his wife remained peacefully unaware.
The next time they meet, little Alexander is three years old.
He'd caught glimpses of the child before then, but as his war with the Clave picked up, he found himself at the base less and less.
Moreso, the bonds keeping his Lieutenants in line were slowly growing weaker,especially after the recent loss of Lucian to lycanthropy. This said, he'd rarely seen the Lightwood scion,even if he'd seen plenty of the boy's parents. They tended to leave the boy with Hodge so that he could get an early start on his training, so when he happened upon the child he wasn't expecting it in the slightest.
The boy was in the training room, attacking a dummy with surprising ferocity, hazel eyes red-rimmed even though his tiny face was dry. Blood dripped from his little fists, but he continued on pounding away at the training dummy with all that he had.
He couldn't help but wonder why the child was upset...and where his other attributes had gone. The star-bursts in his eyes were missing, as was the shimmer that had been there when they'd first met. In fact, it was only the boy's reaction to his presence that had given him away.
As soon as he entered the room, the child stilled and turned to face him, eyes widening as they met his own.
"L-lord Valentine," He greeted, voice surprisingly articulate for a child so young and he couldn't help the soft smile that curled his lips.
"Good afternoon, alexander. Training hard?"
The toddler nodded, looking away from him shyly and the older shadowhunter glanced down at the boy's bleeding hands, frowning faintly.
"Do you know how to wrap your fists?"
He found himself unsurprised when the boy shook his head 'no'. Leading him to a bench, he showed the boy how to wrap his hands, watching as he mimicked his actions over and over, until his hands looked as if they'd been wrapped by Valentine himself. All the while, the child listened attentively, hazel eyes full of an intensity he'd never likened to children before.
When Maryse appeared shortly after to fetch the boy for his lessons, he found himself reluctant to part with off the impulse, he watched as the duo left, idly wondering when he would next encounter the child.
Three days later.
The boy had come to him, hazel eyes wet with tears, as his tiny hands carried a baby bird with a broken wing.
He'd begged him to heal it.
He refused and, hoping to harden the child's heart,turn him into the nephilim his parents were, killed it.
The guilt he felt at the child's horrified expression haunted him well into the night.
Three days later, he discovered Maryse was pregnant with her second child, Celine Herondale with her first.
Feeding Cecline angel blood and sparing Maryse should've felt like an atonement, but the way young Alexander continued to avoid him told him that it wasn't.
So he takes over Alexander's training.
It surprisingly easy to convince Maryse and Robert to allow him to train their son.
After all, despite his young age, the boy is quickly advancing through Hodge's exercises. He starts by teaching the child to use ring daggers, hoping that the small blades would help him adapt faster.
Alexander is a fast learner, full of focus and dedication and he finds himself growing fonder of the child as time goes by, though he does little to show it.
He trains the boy first with daggers, then the whip, before finally moving on to the bow and arrow, watching his young protege advance through each one as if he were born for them. He also discretely takes some of the child's blood,hoping to identify which of the two creatures' blood had given him the strange attributes he'd displayed so long ago.
His plans begin to advance beyond what he'd ever imagined they would and everything seems to be going the way he'd wanted it to…
Then the Lightwoods second child is born and two days later they defect from his ranks, taking his apprentice with them.
The rage he feels at the betrayal is only amplified when Alexander's blood test comes back.
A perfect greater demon and angel blooded hybrid, his human blood completely eradicated by their otherworldly counterparts.
He kills three of his followers to keep from attacking the Clave to get the boy back and instead interrogates his wife on where the Lightwoods had fled.
After all, Jocelyn, Celine, and Maryse were close,they wouldn't leave without giving them a hint.
Jocelyn denies knowing.
He kills Michael Weyland, then, when Celine gives birth...he kills her too.
He tells Jocelyn that she died in childbirth…
She doesn't believe him.
Instead, she gives birth to their daughter, a month later and takes the child with her when she vanishes.
That night he learns the name of the angel haunting his dreams.
There is no Helel in the Angel lexicon.
The dreams go dormant.
His organization crumbles only a month later,leaving him with his son, Celine's, and a handful of followers.
Everything in him blames his wife and the Lightwoods, it's only the memory of warm hazel eyes that keeps him from taking his revenge. Instead he goes to ground, and begins to rebuild.
He pushes everything Lightwood to the very back of his mind, and the brief glimpse of his heart that had been bared...he seals it shut.
It would be thirteen years before he saw the boy again.
Much like before, he happens upon the boy by accident.
He'd been scouting a potential base for one of his operations, when he'd happened upon him and two others locked in battle with a hoard of ravager demons. He hadn't recognized the boy at first, not with his back facing towards him, body moving with deadly precision. Instead, he'd hoped to see if the group were worth recruiting, their youth hinting at a malleability that his current followers lacked, especially after he'd lost Celine's boy to Maryse.
Almost immediately, he dismissed the two accompanying him, noting the way they seemed more focused on each other, than their battles. No, it was the last that caught his attention.
The teen moved with deadly precision, using his bow as a bladed staff when the demons got too close. No movement was wasted, yet his fighting style was elegant, lacking the fanciful movements most of his generation tried to slip into battles. One of his teammates went down and the boy automatically cut down the demon that killed him, as well as his own.
So enthralled by the battle, he didn't notice the demon that joined the battle, not until it killed the boy's last remaining teammate and began attacking him.
The young man responded in kind, killing the remaining ravager demons, then engaging the newcomer, a greater demon who's name escaped him.
Unwilling to miss out on the possible recruit, he joined the battle, easily falling into step with the raven, who fluidly adapted to his style as if he were familiar with it.
Once the demon was finished, he turned to introduce himself to his new recruit, only for his breath catch in his throat.
Long black hair was shorn close on the sides, a pitch black deflect rune marring pale skin, yet it was the eyes that held his attention. Eyes that he knew very well despite having not seen their owner in over a decade. Eyes that should not be flashing with emotions that he'd dare not have for this person.
"Thanks for the help." Even the boy's voice was startling, just pitching into adulthood, no longer the high innocence of youth.
He'd never felt this far out of his depth before. Still it was easy to paste on a genuine looking smile.
"No problem, you looked like you could need it."
The younger chuckled, a light blush crossing his cheeks and something dark started to unfurl in his chest as a similar face flashed in his mind's eye.
"Well thanks, anyway." A slender callous hand was extended his way, "Alec Lightwood."
He took the hand with little hesitation, biting back a triumphant smirk. All these years lamenting the loss of his young apprentice and the boy had somehow found his way back to him. Still, he had little doubt that the boy would know his name, and with the runes etched proudly into his skin, he doubted he'd join him immediately.
Like his parents, he would take some convincing.
Luckily all he had was time.
Ignoring that tiny niggling thought in the back of his mind that yelled it was a bad idea, he allowed the lip to slip off his tongue with ease.